Re: Mystery Car Resolved

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

Re: wood craft model of a NADX Pacific Egg Producers wood egg reefer #6003. The many responses have been very informative, and have led to additional digging.

1): Shame on me. I confidently described the car as having a radial roof. It surely does *not* (the roof is peaked), and although I have had an extensive interim visit with my ace ophthalmologist in the interim ("Just why am I perceiving peaked roofs to be curved, Doctor?"), this will have to remain a mystery :-[ .

2) Richard Hendrickson pointed out that the NADX reefers in this number series were all standard ice cars, and he kindly provided a photo documenting same. Since, I have also found a photo (no plans) of one of these NADX cars in a 1931 CYC.

3): Tom Madden dredged up out of his fertile memory the fact that a car kit fitting my description was reviewed in the August 1955 MR Trade Topics, and he scanned and sent me a copy. Sure enough, it was written about, photographed, and it is indeed the very same model- even down to the ginger (and very accurate) comment that the printed lettering (stamped?, silk screened?) was not up to snuff.

Moreover, the review commented further that the car did not have ice hatches because the car was *mechanical* (of which there is no other evidence or explanation on the model). The kit producer is listed as Model Builder's Supply Co., Box 55, Duarte, CA. This is the same address as Suydam. Although it could have been one of Ayres' products previously, Ayres' address was in Garden Grove, CA.

4): Jace Kahn points out that drawings of a similar car are in the very early MR Cyclopedias. He is dead-on correct, and on page 52 of the 1937 edition, and then again on page 110 of the 1950 edition, there are neat side and elevation drawings of the same car (N.A.D.X. 6002), replete with extensive PEP and Washington Egg Cooperative logos and badge, and NO ice hatches. The plans were drawn by one Linnaeus Westcott.

5): A source of additional confusion arises when sees on page 56 of the 1937 edition, and page 115 of the 1959 edition side elevations of almost identical NADX cars in the 3004 series, also without ice hatches. The car seems to be slightly shorter (although the scale is supposed to be 1/8"/foot, it doesn't seem to quite pan out). However, instead of the "Egg" logos and badges to the right of the distinctive pairs of two-hinge doors, there is instead a very large billboard "FRIGICAR", with a smaller "Mechanical Transit Refrigerator" just below. A photo of this car (no plans) is also in the 1931 CYC, along with some photos of the mechanical refrigeration. Jack White describes these cars as among the very first mechanical reefers to be made beyond just ones or twos (24 in all in 1924), but that they were too expensive to have any lasting effect.

My speculation now is that unless someone can demonstrate that the very early NADX 6000 series were indeed also "mechanical", somehow Linn Westcott may have by accident, or by expediency, gotten the two NADX cars mixed up in 1937 and the error was perpetuated. The ice hatches on the 6000 prototype cars were missed, and the roof ventilators and distinct underbody refrigeration mechanisms of the shorter 3000 series cars were also missed- leaving the builder to presume ?. Ayres or Suydam innocently picked up the drawings "as they were" for production of an interesting model, and did not pick up these discrepancies (nor did the editor at MR in 1955).

Pretty earth shaking, isn't it?

;-) :-)

Denny S. Anspach, MD

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